Do Household Composition and Family Demographics Influence Nutritional Status Among 3—7 Year Old Children in the Samoan Island of Upolu?

Courtney Choy , Brown University
Stephen McGarvey, Brown University
Christina Soti-Ulberg, Samoa Ministry of Health
Take Naseri, Samoa Ministry of Health
Muagututia Sefuiva Reupena, Samoa Bureau of Statistics
Rachel Duckham, Deakin University
Nicola Hawley, Yale University

As nutritional and epidemiological transitions continue in Samoa, children are increasingly vulnerable to poor nutritional status. Using cross-sectional data of 358 children from the Ola Tuputupua’e “Growing Up” study in Samoa, this study investigates whether household composition and family demographics influences overweight/obesity, stunting, and anemia at age 3-7 years old. Households were classified according to the number of individuals who usually reside in the household and family socioeconomic status (SES). Multivariable logistic regression will be used to estimate the odds ratios for nutritional status outcomes. Our findings suggest that the absence of dependent children in the household was positively associated with overweight/obesity at age 3-7 years old, but not high family SES. In addition, the presence of dependent children in the household was associated with stunting, but not anemia. There are opportunities for preventative interventions at the household-level and future work should focus on identifying causal pathways in this setting.

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 Presented in Session 2. Children & Youth